Friday, April 10, 2009

i heart ... general conference

President Thomas S. Monson

i love general conference weekend,
for a couple of reasons.

first of all, i look forward to hearing from
the Prophet and the Apostles.

and second of all, let's just be honest,
it's nice to watch church in your pajamas twice a year.

my favorite moments were:

Quentin L. Cook - "during the past two years in the united states and across the world, there has been a dramatic increase in the discussion of our faith and beliefs. this is not new; it has happened periodically throughout the history of the church.

in 1863 charles dickens, the english novelist, went on board the passenger ship amazon, which was bound for new york. his purpose was to report on the latter-day saint converts who were emigrating to build up the church in the american west. there had been thousands of converts who had already emigrated, and much had been written, particularly in the british media, about them and their beliefs. most of what was written was unfavorable.

'i went on board their ship,' wrote dickens, 'to bear testimony against them if they deserved it, as i fully believed they would; to my great astonishment they did not deserve it.' after observing and mingling with the converts, dickens was impressed with them and described these english converts, most of whom were laborers, as being 'in their degree, the pick and flower of england.' "

i love this because i love charles dickens, and to hear his favorable view of the saints makes me very happy!

Richard G. Scott - "when we keep the temple covenants we have made and when we live righteously in order to maintain the blessings promised by those ordinances, then come what may, we have no reason to worry or to feel despondent."

Russell M. Nelson - quoting President Joseph F. Smith, "a man may fast and pray till he kills himself; and there isn’t any necessity for it; nor wisdom in it. . . . the Lord can hear a simple prayer, offered in faith, in half a dozen words, and he will recognize fasting that may not continue more than twenty-four hours, just as readily and as effectually as He will answer a prayer of a thousand words and fasting for a month. . . . the Lord will accept that which is enough, with a good deal more pleasure and satisfaction than that which is too much and unnecessary.”

Dallin H. Oaks - "testimony is to know and to feel. conversion is to do and to become."

the two most powerful moments for me were the from talks by
Jeffrey R. Holland and President Thomas S. Monson.

Jeffrey R. Holland - i cannot take one or two quotes out of this talk to put here on my blog. this talk has to be read from start to finish. in this talk, Elder Holland speaks of something that is "central to the significance of the Atonement," and it is something that is completely new to me. that is why this talk was so astounding to me.

President Thomas S. Monson - "now, a word of caution to all—both young and old, both male and female. we live at a time when the adversary is using every means possible to ensnare us in his web of deceit, trying desperately to take us down with him.

there are many pathways along which he entices us to go—pathways that can lead to our destruction. advances in many areas that can be used for good can also be used to speed us along those heinous pathways.

i feel to mention one in particular, and that is the internet. on one hand, it provides nearly limitless opportunities for acquiring useful and important information. through it we can communicate with others around the world. the church itself has a wonderful web site, filled with valuable and uplifting information and priceless resources.

on the other hand, however—and extremely alarming—are the reports of the number of individuals who are utilizing the internet for evil and degrading purposes, the viewing of pornography being the most prevalent of these purposes. my brothers and sisters, involvement in such will literally destroy the spirit. be strong. be clean. avoid such degrading and destructive types of content at all costs—wherever they may be! i sound this warning to everyone, everywhere. i add—particularly to the young people—that this includes pornographic images transmitted via cell phones.

my beloved friends, under no circumstances allow yourselves to become trapped in the viewing of pornography, one of the most effective of satan's enticements. and if you have allowed yourself to become involved in this behavior,

cease now.

seek the help you need to overcome and to change the direction of your life. take the steps necessary to get back on the strait and narrow, and then stay there.

may we say, with joshua of old, 'choose you this day whom ye will serve; . . . but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.' "

wow! when the prophet says, "now a word of caution to all..."
this means you really need to listen.

and the words, "cease now" -
well, that is something really powerful coming from the prophet.

there were 3 talks about temples
(by Richard G. Scott, David A. Bednar, and Gary E. Stevenson)
so naturally, we felt like going to the temple after conference
and that's exactly what we did.
it was a nice way to end conference weekend.
i think it has to be our new tradition!
here are some pictures:

do you see the moon at the top of the picture?

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